Help for killing a mildew odor that I can't smell myself
January 20, 2008 9:14 PM   Subscribe

How do I kill a mildew smell -behind- a sink?

My wife can apparently smell mildew coming from the vicinity of our kitchen sink. I can't, so I chock this up to the her pregnancy-induced super-sense-of-smell. We have this sort of bizarre set up, where I ask her if she can smell it, and where she can smell it.

Anyways, the kitchen sink apparently -did- have a leak underneath it, some time ago, although that has been fixed (months and months ago).

There remains a small possibility of some leakage within the wall behind it, but there are no telltale signs, aside from my wife smelling the mildew.

So, assuming there is no further leakage (which would mean ripping the cabinets out of the wall), what can I do to kill the mildew smell?
posted by The Giant Squid to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
House or apartment?
posted by bonobo at 9:25 PM on January 20, 2008

Response by poster: Apartment. Duplex. I own the whole place.
posted by The Giant Squid at 9:36 PM on January 20, 2008

I lived in an apartment that I ended up leaving because of mold issues where I could smell mildew around the kitchen cabinets. Other people couldn't. One day the place had a leak somewhere else so the whole place was checked for mold, and it turned out the whole wall behind the cabinet was gross, rotten, and black from another tiny, undetectable leak. The whole thing was gutted and rebuilt. Just saying that it's possible this may require pro intervention and not Febreeze if she can still smell it after cleaning every surface you can see.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:46 PM on January 20, 2008

An Ozone machine in the cabinet overnight,O3 murders mildew.
posted by hortense at 9:58 PM on January 20, 2008

Well, if I was the landlord and had a wall section with formerly leaky pipes, and the possibility of an unresolved leak or mold bloom, I'd trust the wife's superpowers and rip out a section and have a look-see. I would take the chance not just for the sake of her sanity, but also for the health of everyone living in both units (counting baby-to-be) and the value of the property.
posted by bonobo at 10:24 PM on January 20, 2008

Look up behind the sink under where the faucet it. That's a overlooked hiding place for yuckiness.
posted by gjc at 9:01 AM on January 21, 2008

Keeping some anti-moisture crystals (DampRid) under the sink got rid of the smell for me.

There's probably mold in the walls, but as long as it stays there we can be at peace.
posted by teki at 1:23 PM on January 21, 2008

Carefully cut out a chunk of the back and/or bottom of the sink cabinet, clean the area appropriately, reattach the cut out piece.
posted by yohko at 11:33 AM on January 22, 2008

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